Osvaldo Pol: The Poetic Word has Dwellings of Flesh

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ

 Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ
 Osvaldo Pol, SJ / Free Articles / Published Date:23 July 2021/Last Updated Date:16 August 2021

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Jesuit Father Osvaldo Pol, lifetime student and now professor, wrote almost all of these sonnets here in his home. Some have already been published, others appear for the first time.

The Faculties of Philosophy and Theology are pleased to launch his book of sonnets. In poetic language he expresses theological wisdom, the fruit most appreciated by the Society of Jesus in its academic endeavors.

It may seem paradoxical that a poet speaks of exiles from the earth in the language of the earth. It may seem paradoxical but it is not, because the poetic word has dwellings of flesh in human hearts and – at the same time – feels the weight of wings that have not yet taken flight. This is an arduous dilemma, expressed poetically and mystically by Saint Teresa: “How hard this exile!”

La Civilta Cattolica


San Miguel, June 20, 1981, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Colégio Máximo de San José

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, SJ



Knowing how to lose… is this wisdom?


Saying goodbye every day…

Accepting as lost what was achieved.

Feeling that the verb to love has shown us

the heart of melancholy…


Joy will no longer be

forever, we will learn that at its side

there is a shadow, a demarcated time….

A door closed to hope.


And it won’t matter to those who’ve finished,

there are a thousand beginnings left…

Even if the sun shines dark and desolate….


Say goodbye, disallow bravery

to claim what was denied…

Knowing how to lose, that is wisdom.







of trying to make the bird return

from the opposite end of the night

and place its exhaustion

on your open adolescent chest.


You hold it in your hands,

caress it,

you draw from its wings all the wind

and while it surrenders to the unnameable

you yourself take flight.


The experience is easy.

What is difficult

is to seize the moment

to kill the bird

without dying with it out of sadness.




Wherever may the morning cling

and describe its flight, the hope?

Which way does apprehension come

to the homeland of peace to fall?


Dreams dream like the joining wind

and glide onto a still, quiet beach.

Fever becomes fire and does not rest,

pressing the blood until it spreads.


And life, life is this opening up

to the other, painfully.

It is knocking on doors until it hurts.


It is knowing that death crudely

encircles us. And at the same time feeling

alive forever, stubbornly.


Osvaldo Pol, a Jesuit priest, was born in Cordoba, Argentina, in 1935. He graduated in Philosophy. For more than 40 years he worked as a professor at the Catholic University, specializing in Ethics and Aesthetics. His work has appeared in newspapers and magazines. He has published several poetry collections, starting in 1966. His name has appeared in important collections of Argentine poetry, including “Hombre y Dios: cien años de poesía hispanoamericana”, Madrid, BAC, 1996.

DOI: La Civiltà Cattolica, En. Ed. Vol. 5, no. 8 art. 4, 0821: 10.32009/22072446.0821.4